Tuesday, February 25, 2020

How To Create An Extraordinary Life - Kristin Chamberlin

Do you want to create change in your life? Do you wake up in the mornings with the sense that you could be doing something different that would be more fulfilling? Do you toss and turn at nights wondering what more is out there for you? Don’t worry, you are not alone. People are dynamic, we need change, unfortunately not many people understand the psychology behind change. If it were as easy as reading the latest self-help book or attending a weekend seminar, you would find yourself accomplishing everything you wanted to accomplish and experiencing fulfillment in every facet of your life. So what’s the barrier to realizing change? It’s habits. As appealing as change may sound, we habitually prefer the comfort of familiarity over the uncomfortable, often difficult process of making the changes that will lead to a more fulfilling life. So how do you break this habit? The first thing you can do is understand the psychology behind change. Don’t worry, it’s not rocket science, it’s about patterns of behavior and thought.

Research has shown that for a lasting change to occur, individuals must have:
  1. insight into a need or the desire to make a change,
  2. motivation for making a change,
  3. knowledge, skills and abilities necessary for change,
  4. real world experience to apply new knowledge, skills and abilities, and
  5. accountability linked to the change process.
Let’s look at each of these requirements to change. First is insight into a need, or the desire to make change. This typically stems from a life transition such as ending a relationship, loosing or changing a job, approaching a birthday, anniversary or new year. Whatever the origin of the insight, the result is the same, you are left with an unsettling sense that something needs to be different.

Is that nagging voice in your head enough to drive you to change? That depends. Your life circumstances will greatly influence your motivation. The 45-year-old mother of three will have a different motivating force than the 24-year-old single college graduate. If your desires for change are realistic within the context of your current circumstances, the motivation for action will be present. The thoughts about what the future holds will now be keeping you up at night.

It’s time to take action. “But what action” you may ask. The first step is to clearly define what your future looks like. With a clear picture of your ideal future you can begin to identify the steps it will take to get you there. You will probably need to acquire new skills, make new acquaintances, and have new experiences. You will need an action plan to move you from what you currently know and do to your vision of what could be. Here is where most people get derailed. Here is where the difficult and uncomfortable part of change comes into play. It’s easy to dream about a new reality, but to take action requires work. Not only work to learn new techniques or tactical ways of doing things, you have to look at your patterns of thought. Your inner saboteur will come in and tell you “this is too difficult, you’ll never get it, you could be spending your time, energy, money on something else, and it’s not worth it”. So you go back to doing what you’ve always done, and you get what you’ve always gotten.

The only way to break this pattern of complacency is to hold yourself accountable for taking action. Most people cannot do this alone. Most people need someone outside themselves to keep them on track, sticking to the plan. You need to have an unconditional collaborator (partner, friend, family member or coach) to hold you accountable for getting off the couch and out into the world of possibility. You need someone to push you through the difficult process of changing your habits and thoughts. You need someone to slay your inner saboteur.

Do you think you’re ready to take action on changing your life? The first thing you need to do is find that unconditional collaborator. A few people will have these types of relationships readily at hand, a partner, friend or family member. Most of us, however, get lost in the emotional dynamics of their existing relationships so much so that having them play an unconditional role in your change process is unrealistic. Hiring a personal coach to take you through the process is an option many are discovering. Professionally trained personal coaches know the psychological process that underlie change and can customize a program based on your particular needs and goals. Personal coaches use the DARE model to creating lasting change. To put it to use for yourself, take the following steps:

Define: What is your burning desire? Where do you want to see yourself a year from now? 3, 5 and 10 years out? Do you want wealth? Do you want to find your soul mate? Do you want a healthy body? Mind? Soul? Do you want to accelerate your career to a higher level of success? Start your own business? DARE to define exactly what you want. Create the vision of your future and put it on paper. Cut out pictures, write down aspirations and don’t hold back. Action: Planned, purposeful action paired with affirmations, influence internal forces to create lasting change. Write down the action steps to get there. You may not know all the steps initially, but with each step written and taken, the path will become clearer and you will move closer to accomplishing your goals. Write down affirmations and repeat them several times everyday, especially when you wake up and before you go to sleep at night. Affirmations are a necessary part of reprogramming your thoughts. Receive: By examining the attitudes, behaviors and beliefs that may interfere with achieving goals, you will be prepared to receive and accept the changes that come through the Define and Action process. Use your unconditional collaborator to pull you through this difficult process. Remember, you are worthy of an extraordinary life. Expand: Never stop growing. Reflect and expand on the process. Repeat the cycle and realize dreams you never before thought possible.

Change is a difficult process; however, you can take comfort in the fact that your desire for change is part of personal growth. If it were easy, you would never come across anyone in an unsettled state. The key is to make your transitions in life as effective as possible. Creating your extraordinary life is within your reach, with guidance and determination you can accomplish anything you desire.

Are you ready for a change?
Maybe it’s a birthday or anniversary approaching.
Maybe it was the way your boss spoke to you.
Maybe it’s the relationship you just ended or started.

What ever the source, you’ve been left with the unsettling sense that something in your life needs to change. Quality Life Solutions provides individualized coaching programs to get you living your extraordinary life.

Kristin Chamberlin is a Professional Corporate and Personal Coach with Quality Life Solutions.

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